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Chinese ships in disputed waters: Japan  TOKYO: Four Chinese government ships cruised into the territorial waters of disputed Tokyo-controlled islands in the East China Sea on Sunday, Japan's coastguard said.   The maritime surveillance vessels entered the 12-nautical-mile zone around Uotsurijima, the main islet in the disputed chain called the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China at about noon (0300 GMT).   Chinese vessels have moved in and out of what Japan says is its sovereign territory over the past two months since Tokyo nationalised some of the islands in the group.   On Friday, six Chinese government ships temporarily entered the territorial waters around the same islet, according to the coastguard.   As well as the potential mineral reserves, national pride is at stake in the decades-old spat, which has recently spiked and hit the huge trade relationship between the two biggest economies in the region.   Japan and China are readying for a third round of talks on the issue, ...

Prince Charles talks pidgin on pomp-filled PNG tour  PORT MORESBY: Britain's Prince Charles delighted locals in Papua New Guinea with a brief address in pidgin after inspecting a military parade on Sunday, as he and wife Camilla conduct a jubilee tour of the Pacific.   Charles, the heir to Queen Elizabeth II who is known in PNG as "nambawan pikinini bilong misis kwin" -- first child of Mrs Queen -- was cheered by several thousand people as he made his first speech since arriving on ...
Crew, captain blamed for South Korean ship tragedy WELLINGTON: An investigation into the sinking of a South Korean trawler southeast of New Zealand with the loss of 22 lives two years ago has found the captain and crew to blame.   The Insung I sank on December 13, 2010, in the Antarctic Ocean and inside the New Zealand search and rescue region. Of the 42 people on board, five bodies were recovered and 17, including the captain, were never seen again.   The Korean Maritime Safety Tribunal ...
One dead as train crashes, derails in Australia SYDNEY: One man died and at least six other people were injured Saturday when a train collided with a truck and derailed in the southern Australian state of Victoria, police said.   The accident happened when a truck attempting to drive across a level crossing in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong South was struck by the passenger train, police investigators have been told.   "As a result of the collision, one of the train carriages tipped over while three ...
Australia wants closer ASEAN ties: Carr  SYDNEY: Australia will elevate its engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and seek to more closely align its foreign policy with that of the bloc, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Friday.   In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, Carr said Australia, which last weekend released a comprehensive blueprint for enhancing its ties with Asia, recognised ASEAN's "centrality in the region".   "I am quite happy to be associated with a shift (in Australia's level of ...
South Korea president SEOUL: The brother of South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak appeared before a special prosecutor Thursday over alleged irregularities in a project to build the president's retirement home.   Lee Sang-Eun, 79, was called to testify about a 600 million won ($542,000) loan he gave to his nephew and the president's only son, Lee Si-Hyung.   "I'll explain everything in there," Lee, the eldest of the president's two brothers, told reporters before entering the prosecutor's office in southern Seoul.   The case centres ...
The politics of ageing in South Korea  SEOUL: South Korea's rapidly ageing population is redrawing the electoral landscape of a country where half a century of tumultuous change has honed sharp generational divides.   The pronounced demographic shift triggered by a plummeting birth rate and soaring life expectancy is seen as one of the greatest challenges facing Asia's fourth largest economy in the future.   In the shorter term, it is an issue preoccupying the three main candidates in December's presidential election, as they seek any ...

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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyAugust
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 23, 2014
Reserves $13.465 bln